Hold on, before you get all riled up. I love me some Taylor Trammell. The guy is a joy to watch and is in the top 10% of players who truly seem to enjoy the game. However, the guy strikeouts a lot. Not just a lot even… but A LOT!
Part of this is from being a rookie. It’s going to take a bit of time to get used to everything that is going on at the major league level. Not everyone that comes up dominates right away. Even Mike Trout struggled his rookie year, hitting .220 with a 25% strikeout rate. He was also 19, but you get the point. Even for players who can end up being incredible, it can take some time to adjust.
What we are seeing from Taylor Trammell, even in a small sample size, is a bit worrisome.
Taylor Trammell, as of the afternoon of 04/14, is tied for the league lead in strikeouts. Through just 32 at-bats, he has struck out a total of 20 times. Now, he is no Anthony Alford with 15 K’s in 19 at-bats, but it is still one of the worst rates in baseball.
Another way to look at it is in perspective of the most strikeouts that a batter has ever rung up in a season. Think about some of the all-time free swingers, and the amount of times that they missed. Mark Reynolds, Adam Dunn, Chris Davis, Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis, Joey Gallo, and Mark Reynolds. (see a theme there?) They had strikeouts in the 35-40% range. Currently, Trammell is at 50.0%. It’s a bit confusing, because it goes off of plate appearances, and not at-bats.
He is playing a lot so far, which is great for the team in the long term. They get to take a closer look at a top outfield prospect to determine if he is going to be in their long-term plans amongst a possibly over-crowded outfield, or if they will be able to send him elsewhere for a position of need, like starting pitching depth or catcher.
He’s played in 10 of 11 games so far, averaging 4.0 at-bats per game. Say he ends up playing 130 games this year, as others get healthy and call-ups happen. That means we are going to see 520 more appearances from him. Doing some quick math (.5*520) means he is on pace for 260 more strikeouts still. That would put him at 280, well past the record of 223 set by, you guessed it, Mark Reynolds.
So, what kind of rate would he need to get down to in order to not break the record? Let’s predict “just” 200 K’s for the rest of the year for him, but keeping the same about of appearances, just for consistency. With those somewhat limited appearances, he needs to sit around 38.5% to not break the record.
What if he plays as a regular all year though, and ends up with closer to 600 appearances, based on 150 games. Not too far out of the realm of belief, right? Then he needs to drop that number down to about 33.3%. It’s still high, but manageable. To keep it under 200 K’s, he needs to strikeout less than 30% of the time going forward.
Through all of this, one thing is clear. Trammell has a strikeout issue so far this season. He needs to do something about his miss rate, or else he is going to end up blowing away the record for strikeouts in a season.